News / USA

Obama Offers Message of Hope and Support to Tornado-Damaged Joplin, Missouri

President Barack Obama, third from left, talks with residents while viewing damage from the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 29, 2011.
President Barack Obama, third from left, talks with residents while viewing damage from the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 29, 2011.

U.S. President Barack Obama toured tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri, Sunday, where 142 people were killed and another 40 are still missing.   The president offered a message of consolation and hope at a memorial service for those who lost their lives.

People climbed down from atop piles of splintered furniture, broken cars, and remnants of houses to shake hands with the U.S. president.  Mr. Obama offered words of consolation and encouragement as he toured the wreckage of this Midwestern town.

It was one week ago in Joplin, Missouri, that a tornado with winds topping 300 kilometers an hour flattened homes and devastated lives.  

Later Sunday, upon taking the stage at a memorial service for those who died in Joplin, the president was greeted with rousing applause, and even a proclamation of love from someone in the audience.

The nation's mourner-in-chief responded in kind, saying, "I love Joplin.  I love Joplin."

A motorcade carrying President Obama passes through a devastated Joplin, Mo., neighborhood Sunday, May 29, 2011.
A motorcade carrying President Obama passes through a devastated Joplin, Mo., neighborhood Sunday, May 29, 2011.

Mr. Obama told the audience that once the shock from the deadly tornado wears off, residents will likely feel alone.  He vowed that would not be the case. "There is no doubt in my mind that Joplin will rebuild. And as president, I can promise you, your country will be there with you every single step of the way.  We will be with you every step of the way.  We're not going anywhere.  The cameras may leave.  The spotlight may shift.  But we will be with you every step of the way until Joplin is restored and this community is back on its feet.  We're not going anywhere," he said.

The stirring words brought all the members of the white-robed choir behind the president's podium to their feet.

Mr. Obama also reflected on those who died while saving others, and he urged survivors to live with the same level of compassion.    

President Obama arrived in Joplin Sunday after wrapping a six-day tour of Europe.  He said world leaders had spoken of their concern for the people who had suffered though the deadliest tornado to hit the United States in more than 60 years.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid